REVIEW: Mac on a Hot Tin Roof by Melinda Metz
Inspired by the true story of a kleptomaniac cat who stole his way into America’s heart . . .
As a tabby cat with criminal tendencies, MacGyver is always a whisker away from trouble. But when he stumbles upon a litter of four motherless kittens, he really has his paws full. It’s clear Mac has to take care of the cuddly little furballs, at least until he finds them each a human. That’s not going to be easy though. Not when Mac’s the prime suspect in a series of thefts at Storybook Court — and his loving but concerned owners, Jamie and David, have put him under house arrest. As if that could stop a clever cat like Mac . . .
With four hungry little mouths to feed — and two local detectives on his tail — MacGyver has his work clawed out for him. He’s determined to sniff out the real thief. But when he gets a whiff of romance in the air, he can’t resist a little matchmaking, too. One of the detectives seems awfully fond of the aspiring actress who moved into the neighborhood. And his partner looks like she could use a hug, too. With a little help from those adorable kittens, Mac is sure that love will save the day. Because when it comes to stealing hearts, this cat’s out of the bag . . .
Dear Ms. Metz,
Yes MacGyver, the matchmaking cat is back and this time he’s got even more he’s got to fix. His human Jamie and her husband David are fine, though Jamie is smelling a little “off” to Mac, but there are plenty of other people who need help getting their lives straight. Plus Mac is now responsible for a little of four orphaned kittens. A busy cat’s work is never done.
As with the first book, readers must accept that Mac can smell human emotions and immediately notice when two people are happier/content/less anxious when in each other’s presence. That is basically Mac doing his matchmaking and from what the humansies in Storybook Court are saying, his mad skills have been noticed. What has also been noted is Mac’s tendencies to snatch and grab things and for that, he’s been accused of stealing some items from Jamie’s and David’s neighbors. Sure the items may be butt-ugly, insured, and not wanted by their owners but still …
Unaware of the fact that he’s been fingered as a cat burgler, Mac is busy trying to feed, shelter, and teach four kittens how to be cats. He’s also got his eyes open for who he might place his charges with once they’re ready to be human minders. Mac does love Jamie, like David and barely tolerate David’s dog Dioge (D-O-G), but the humans need constant managing and the bonehead barks at his own shadow – if not for Mac, things would be a mess. He needs to find people who need cats but who are also adequately trained in how to keep a cat happy.
Mac’s got a lot in his foodbowl right now so it’s a good thing he sees that he doesn’t need to work hard to get Serena and Erick together. Only why do they keep getting mad at each other since their smells tell Mac they like each other? Two humans willing to sit out for an hour to make sure a kitten gets down a tree safely have to like each other.
Serena is also baffled by things Erick does. He acts as if he really likes her then backs off as if he can’t get away fast enough. She finally discovers what has him running scared but not until after she tells him off a time or two (Go Serena!). Erick has been burned by a talented hopeful come to LA to be “discovered” and feels he can’t handle falling for Serena and the inevitable crash when she doesn’t make it big. He’s also trying to decide if he wants to take the next logical step in a police career and pursue becoming a detective.
Will Serena get her big break? Will Erick be honest with himself? Will the real thief be discovered? And who will be lucky enough for Mac to decide they deserve one of “his kittens?”
If there isn’t a real Storybook Court, there needs to be. But wow, these people need to keep their windows locked. Of course if they did so, it would be hard for Mac to work his magic. Mac takes on the role that Mason did at TinyKittens HQ (except Mac was never a feral) before Mason’s recent demise. Mac has to not only feed his kittens, he has to also teach them cat manners and survival skills. Someday they will be running their own households and need to know human management skills. I loved this part of the story and watching Mac evaluate his charges and diligently search for the best homes for them.
I knew nothing about the life of a journeyman actor but watching Serena prepare for auditions and shoot a TV commercial was an eye opener. What I like about her is that she knows what she’s up against and honestly feels that just being able to make a living as an actor is fine. Super stardom would of course be great but if that isn’t in the cards, she’s good. And she can always point out her commercial that shows off her wonderful skills as a Shigella bacterium. When the zing she feels with Erick has him skedaddling, Serena doesn’t cry, she doesn’t angst – well, she does discuss it with a friend but not in a “cry in your coffee” kind of way. She also doesn’t take any shit from Erick and lets him know he’s messed up.
Erick is a sweetie but he does have his moments when I wanted to smack him with my claws out. His own partner wants to smack him and also lets him know he’s messed up. I enjoyed seeing the two of them walking their beat, getting to know the people they’re responsible for and trying to solve the mystery of who is stealing the butt-ugly stuff. Erick finally pulls his head out of his ass but it takes a while and Serena gives him a few more chances than I’d feel comfortable doing. The two of them are faced with choices in their careers that I thought were handled well. Before they could work out any future, they did need to get these issues straight and I thought that by the end, they were honest with themselves about those as well as with their relationship.
As with “Talk to the Paw,” there is an epilogue for this book which wraps up some of the things in the story. I had kind of figured out some of them but appreciated that these were only hinted at along the way. While the people living in Storybook Court are kind and forgiving, I hope that they think about installing some security cameras. And Mac’s kittens? They seem to be taking care of their humans nicely just as Uncle Mac has taught them. B-